Every year, the holiday shopping season is thrust upon us SUPER EARLY whether we like it or not. Seriously, hearing The First Noel on Halloween in a craft store was not really my idea of holiday cheer.
But since it’s happening no matter what I think, I thought I would go ahead and share some places where you can get quality, unique gifts this year. I am a big fan of local and ethically made products, and with all of the options I am about to hook you up with, there’s just no reason to shop for boring gifts at places that might have sketchy business practices. So, there… no excuse at all for boring or sketchy. You’re totally welcome.
Here are a few of my absolute faves. Go forth and shop!
My friend’s sister is so talented! She makes these gorgeous fabric banners for any occasion. With a zillion color and font choices you’ll love, you can choose from styles she already has available, or you can have her customize one for you. (For real, just have her customize one for you!) I’ve ordered a few in the past… one for my own home and a couple as gifts, and I just got in touch with her to make a few more for me this year for some lucky folks on my Christmas list. She also donates 50% of her profits to global missions! So spruce up your décor AND help do some good!
My friend Antoinette is a young lady who is about to finish college. Sewn here in central Ohio, Little Piney Cove’s accessories are part of a bigger vision. Her Facebook page states, “The plan to become a fair trade (www.fairtradeusa.org) boutique is the goal of Little Piney Cove. Employing survivors of human trafficking (www.humantrafficking.org) is what I hope the future of Little Piney Cove holds.” This little world-changer fights modern-day slavery, is just about to graduate from college, and embark on adventures that will allow her to serve the people of the Dominican Republic. I am looking forward to shopping in her fair trade boutique someday. Wouldn’t it be awesome to say you had one of her items since the beginning?
A local duo of friends started their business to make natural, no-gross-stuff beauty products. If you do nothing else, for the love of Pete, buy their Body Butter. It makes that big-box bath and body place’s so-called body butter feel like junk. I mean JUNK, people. I love all of the scents they offer, but Love Bites is my favorite of all time. SO many great products to choose from for every kind of skin. You will thank me for this one, for sure.
I learned about Mi Esperanza from my friends Sarah and Jen, who leave half (or more!) of their hearts in the country of Honduras. Started as an organization that offered micro-loans to women who were seeking opportunities to provide for their families, Mi Esperanza now encompasses much more—including training programs, a boutique in Honduras, and handmade goods shipped all over the world. Clothing, accessories, jewelry, you name it… the incredible women of Mi Esperanza use their talents to make it!
Carey Willems for Noonday Collection
I met my friend Carey when she was at my friend Marla’s house sharing Noonday with us central Ohio gals. I was in LOVE. Beautiful (beyond beautiful, really!!) handmade jewelry and accessories help artisans all around the world use their own talents to sustain themselves and create opportunities that carve paths out of poverty for their families and villages. They also have fun ideas to help folks fund adoptions! Win-WIN!!
Okay so I have to mention my little corner of the world, right?:) I started Fancy Freedom Designs a few years ago to help raise money for a local organization that fights human trafficking right in my hometown. Columbus-based Freedom a la Cart provides support to survivors of sex trafficking. Freedom gives them an opportunity to learn job skills in a safe environment, create delicious food to nourish themselves and the community, and to go beyond surviving to live lives of independence. So, I get to donate a portion of my sales to help them continue this awesome work, and people all over the place start conversations about the reality of human trafficking just by wearing my jewelry. That’s just awesome. Let me create a conversation-starting, freedom-loving design for you or someone special.
Know of any other great local and fair-trade shopping options? Share them with the world and let’s rid Christmas of sketchy, boring gifts!!
I realize that most of the gift options above are geared toward the ladies, so I scoured the intergalactical web highways and such to find some non-sketchy gifts for the menfolk in our lives. Keep in mind that I can bust out a leather Fancy Freedom bracelet befitting a dude, but if the man you have in mind isn’t into that, here are a few cool things I found:
This sweet leather tablet case made in San Fran
This hand knit scarf and hat, with a portion of proceeds going to Not For Sale!
These sweet coasters for your Ohio-loving dude, made by one of my favorite local artisans.